Jurassic Park’ screenwriter David Koepp adapts his own killer organism thriller novel ‘Cold Storage’ for Paramount Pictures


David Koepp is a successful screenwriter for blockbusters, having written the screenplays for “Jurassic Park,” “Angels and Demons”, “Panic Room,” and “Mission: Impossible.” When he published his debut novel, ‘Cold Storage’ in 2018 with Ecco and Harper Collins, a bidding war for the rights to the novel erupted among the major studios. Paramount ended up as the eventual winner and considers the project a high priority, but with the current COVID-19 pandemic shuttering the industry, a production start date is still unknown.

“Cold Storage” follows a Pentagon bioterror operative named Roberto Diaz. When he is sent to investigate a suspected biochemical attack, he finds something far worse: a highly mutative organism capable of extinction-level destruction. He contains it and buries it in cold storage deep beneath a little-used military repository. Now, after decades of festering in a forgotten sub-basement, the specimen has found its way out and is on a lethal feeding frenzy. And only Diaz knows how to stop it.

What does ‘Cold Storage’ have in store for readers? Well, it reads like a movie. Using a casual third person narration, the story moves at a brisk pace with likable and engaging characters. The story is plausible enough without being far-fetched and it unfolds in an entertaining way. It’s a great vacation or rainy day read – a fun way to spend an afternoon in an easy chair or on a front porch. This is a summer thriller tailored for a fun Sunday matinee movie treatment, the kind Michael Crichton would have written. It’s no surprise that Koepp adapted Crichton’s ‘Jurassic Park’ almost 30 years ago for the movies.

Koepp was inspired by son to come up with the idea for the novel. In an interview with Thrillist, he said, “I was starting to write, and I knew something would be stored in one of these former government storage facilities, but I hadn’t focused yet on what it would be. I knew it was something microbial. And Henry, who is 12, was fascinated by Ophiocordyceps and started telling me about it. There are hundreds of species of Ophiocordyceps. People fixate on the ant one because it’s sort of the showiest means of spreading. I started thinking, “Well, if there are hundreds of them, why can’t there be an extra one? Why wouldn’t it like mammals? We’re warm. We’re highly mobile. We might be just the ticket.”

Koepp is adapting the screenplay from his own novel and will produce the film with Gavin Polone. “Cold Storage” has secured Jonny Campbell as its director, whose credits include TV shows like “Westworld” and “Informer.” Campbell’s series “Dracula” bowed on Netflix in January.

The novel is yet to land a director but that shouldn’t be a challenge any longer after his second novel “Aurora” landed Oscar-winning director Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker, Zero Dark Thirty) as her next directing project.

Recent Posts